In a press conference on organizing the United Nations Conservation of Migratory Species of Wildlife (CMP) program, the Union Minister said that the drug ‘diclofenac’ used to treat animals killed the vultures as they eat the dead animals. They reported that diclofenac accumulates in their muscles. When animals die, the vultures eat them and then this medicine reaches into the vultures’ body and causes their death.
If this situation remains, then the day is not far when only the stories of vultures in India will be heard. In the last three decades, the number of this bird has fallen so much that it has reached the verge of extinction. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, while presenting worrying figures on Monday, said that the number of vultures has come down from four crores to less than four lakh in three decades.
Experts Rejected the Government’s Claim
Informing about the steps taken to increase the population of vultures, Forest Inspector General (Wildlife) at the Ministry of Environment, Soumitra Dasgupta said that this drug has been banned and now the population of vultures is increasing.
On the ministry’s claim, environmental experts said that the drug is still to be banned, while an expert said that there are flaws in implementing this ban. Environmental activist and advocate Gaurav Bansal said that it is true that diclofenac is the main cause of vultures dying but it has not been banned till now. This drug is banned only in Tamil Nadu, not the entire country, which is a concern. Environmentalist Dipankar Ghosh of the World Wide Fund (WWF) said that despite the ban, it is being used openly.
Conference in Gujarat from 15 to 22 February
In the press conference held here, Javadekar said that the COP-13 conference will be held in Gujarat from 15 to 22 February and is a meaningful step in wildlife conservation. The conference will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 February via video conferencing.